There are Jobs for Low Level Employees?

My last post mentioned something called a Hiring Brand. It is mainly an additional consideration for a company before it changes its hiring practices. The example I used was based on not hiring junior associates. I don’t know if this is happening or not, but Penelope Trunk claims that those who are typically in that role (recent college grads) are not facing a job shortage. She has a post called Reason to give thanks: There is no job shortage for young people that describes her thoughts on it. The theme that she wants to communicate is that the doom and gloom that is thrown at the faithful reader is not representable of the entire job market. Here is an excerpt:

The not-feeling-so-great thing is that, in the case of everyone but
the young, the economy is only good for star performers. But really
(and here is the part of the post you should skip if you want
Thanksgiving bliss) I have been ranting and screaming for years that
the best way to have a good life is to be a star performer at work
because that gives you the most flexibility to get what you want out of
life. Don’t be a star performer for money. Be a star performer so that in an economy like this, you don’t have to worry about a paycheck.

But—I know someone will ask—here is the evidence that things are fine for young people:

1. Jobs for low-level candidates are increasing. This data comes from a report from
issued on November 14: In October 2008, jobs for candidates with 0-3
years of experience increased by 3.68% when compared to jobs posted in
September 2008. This was the only category of jobs by experience level
that did not decrease over the previous month.

2. There are plenty of entry-level jobs to be had. There is a backlog of entry-level jobs that have been going unfilled for years. Alan Schweyer of the Human Capital Institute
said just three weeks ago, sitting next to me on a panel, that the
unemployment rate for college grads has been at 0% for the past seven
years. (ed. – Alan Schweyer has a great comment toward the bottom of the comments clarifying this statistic.) In the middle of 2008, Robert Half,
a recruiting agency for accounting and finance, said that accounting
firms have been so chronically understaffed that we’d have to have a
five-year recession for them to catch up.

3. College grads are doing fine in today’s market. On November 19, JobFox announced that,
“Skilled professionals remain in demand despite the economic downturn.
While the unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent in October, the
unemployment rate for professionals with college degrees remains
manageable at 3.1 percent.”

So I know what you’re saying. If things are so great for young
people, then why is Obama creating 2.5 million jobs from the Chicago
Hilton? The answer is that unemployment is insanely high for older
people: Yesterday, Fox News reported that the unemployment rate for
people over 50 is nearing 50%.

Of course you can’t take the statements at face value – that is why she provides the links – because you can easily be misled. Much of the hiring is regional and many jobs are not what most would consider on par with their skills. But at the same time, hard work and discipline are characteristics many people can learn. This reminds me of another topic I will post about in the future – Job Corps. This is a Department of Labor resource available to young people to help them figure out what work is all about and get paid while earning experience.

Back to Penelope Trunk, although this post is timely, what I really like are the comments. You get a fair spread of criticism, agreement, examples, and general input.


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